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PGP anti-spam

Seems too easy - prove me wrong
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OK, so here's an idea for tackling spam emails. Set up PGP on your machine, hand the public key to everyone who wants to email you, and then filter all unencrypted (ie. spam) emails straight to your trash.

OK, so essentially it's a whitelist scheme. But it has it's own advantages: 1) No amount of sender address fakery is going to let spammers' emails get through 2) In a corporate environment, key distribution can be handled entirely internally, ensuring that even the most determined spammers can never get the public key. 3) It encourages everyone to use encryption as a matter of course, something we should be doing any way (if you don't want echelon/carnivore/clipper/skynet from reading your emails)

And even if your public key was accidentally made available in a truly public domain... Assuming keys were tied to natural names rather than email addies, the increased effort required in combining the right keys with the right addresses and then crunching all the data would hopefully deter potential spammers.

iivix, Jun 05 2004

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       I would hazard that a significant portion of people using email in their daily lives have no idea that encryption exists, what it's for, or how to use it.   

       Question aside of whether you really want email from such people; my point is that really, it's probably not going to catch on.
Detly, Jun 05 2004
  

       Complexity is an issue but, more to the point, what about those people who rely on cold contact? This scheme simply wouldn't work for business and business has to deal with far more spam than private individuals.
phoenix, Jun 05 2004
  

       I don't use e-mail. They have this wonderful invention called the telephone, and this other wonderful invention called the fax, and yet another wonderful invention they call "postal service".   

       I think a good idea would be to find a way to wipe all email out of existence. Someone please work on that.
Size_Mick, Jun 05 2004
  

       re: the primary idea. All very good if you can come up with a self-updating or trojan style personal key. Otherwise, you know keys will be leaked or misdirected. Maybe not yours -- but certainly mine. I agree that it probably won't catch on. You may even get into a mess.
dpsyplc, Jun 05 2004
  

       You don't need your public key to be secret at all. Just the computational cost of encryption would be enough to deter spammers. Once it catches on, dictatorships would have to decide whether to opt out of the world economy or allow encryption.
Ford, Jan 11 2008
  
      
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